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An oasis in the desert? The benefits and constraints of mobile markets operating in Syracuse, New York food deserts

Author

Listed:
  • Jonnell A. Robinson

    () (Syracuse University)

  • Evan Weissman

    () (Syracuse University)

  • Susan Adair

    () (Grounded Direction)

  • Matthew Potteiger

    () (State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry)

  • Joaquin Villanueva

    () (Gustavus Adolphus College)

Abstract

Abstract In this paper we critically examine mobile markets as an emerging approach to serving communities with limited healthy food options. Mobile markets are essentially farm stands on wheels, bringing fresh fruits, vegetables and other food staples into neighborhoods, especially those lacking traditional, full service grocery stores, or where a significant proportion of the population lacks transportation to grocery stores. We first trace the emergence of contemporary mobile markets, including a brief summary about how and where they operate, what they aim to achieve, who they serve, and the general constraints on their operations. We then report case study findings that examine the operational benefits and challenges of two mobile markets operating in Syracuse, New York. Our research suggests that although Syracuse’s mobile markets play a positive role in alleviating geographic, economic and social barriers to fresh food access experienced by elderly, immobile and low income residents living in Syracuse’s urban neighborhoods, the impacts of the mobile markets are dampened by both operational constraints and larger political and economic forces.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonnell A. Robinson & Evan Weissman & Susan Adair & Matthew Potteiger & Joaquin Villanueva, 2016. "An oasis in the desert? The benefits and constraints of mobile markets operating in Syracuse, New York food deserts," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(4), pages 877-893, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:33:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s10460-016-9680-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-016-9680-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jamie Dollahite & Janet Nelson & Edward Frongillo & Matthew Griffin, 2005. "Building Community Capacity through Enhanced Collaboration in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 22(3), pages 339-354, September.
    2. Patricia Allen, 2008. "Mining for justice in the food system: perceptions, practices, and possibilities," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(2), pages 157-161, June.
    3. Dave Weatherspoon & James Oehmke & Assa Dembele & Lorraine Weatherspoon, 2015. "Fresh vegetable demand behaviour in an urban food desert," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 52(5), pages 960-979, April.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2005.079418_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alison Alkon, 2008. "From value to values: sustainable consumption at farmers markets," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(4), pages 487-498, December.
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